A prominent Saudi prince has sharply criticized Israel at a Bahraini security summit attended remotely by the Israeli foreign minister, highlighting the challenges posed by any agreements between the Arab states and Israel in the absence of an independent Palestinian state.
The fiery remarks made by Prince Turki bin Faisal Al Saud in Manama Dialogue kept the Israeli Foreign Minister on guard, especially as the people of Israel extended a cordial welcome from Bahraini and United Arab Emirates officials following agreements to normalize relations.
The decades-long dispute between Israel and the Palestinians has not been resolved by those agreements. Palestinians see those agreements as a stab in the back from their fellow Arabs and a betrayal of their cause.
Prince Turki bin Faisal described his remarks as a very dark Palestinian reality living under the power of “Western colonial powers” contrary to Israel’s understanding of “lovers of peace with high moral principles”.
Israel “was arrested [Palestinians] In the lowest concentration camps of security allegations – young people, the elderly, women and men, they are rotting there without justice, ”said Prince Turki.
“They are demolishing houses as they please and killing whomever they want.”
The prince criticized Israel’s undeclared nuclear weapons and the Israeli government for “unleashing their political servants and their media outlets from other countries to humiliate and demonize Saudi Arabia.”
In extraordinarily blunt language, he accused Israel of portraying itself as “a small, existing threatening nation, surrounded by bloodthirsty killers who want to eradicate her from existence.”
“Yet they stated that they wanted to be friends with Saudi Arabia,” he said.
The prince reiterated the state’s official position that the solution lies in the implementation of the 2002 Saudi-sponsored Arab Peace Initiative, which provides Israel full relations with all Arab countries in return for the Palestinian state occupying the territory occupied in 1967.
He said: “You can’t treat an open wound with palliatives and pain killers.”
Speaking after Prince Turkey, Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi said: “I want to express my regret over the Saudi spokesman’s remarks. I do not believe they reflect the spirit and the changes taking place in the Middle East. ”
At the summit, the clash between Prince Turkey and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and later, many in Saudi Arabia highlighted the persistent opposition to Israel, with the support of some states and Israeli supporters to promote the campaign with Jewish groups.
Ashkenazi, meanwhile, reiterated Israel’s position that the Palestinians were to blame for not reaching a peace agreement.
“It’s up to us whether to resolve this with the Palestinians, or go to this blame game,” said Ashkenazi, a friend of Netanyahu’s main rival Benny Gontz.
In the audience, Netanyahu’s confidant and former UN ambassador, Dor Gold, referred to Prince Faisal’s remarks as “past allegations – many of which are false.”
The Prince then brought Gold’s previous television appearances “rejecting the kingdom and using vile descriptions.”
“I think Mr. Door Gold is the last to talk about having previous beliefs and positions here,” Prince said.
Prince Turkey has led the Saudi intelligence for over 20 years and has served as ambassador to the United States and the United Kingdom.
Although he does not hold an official position now, his attitude reflects that of King Salman.
However, the king’s visionary son, 35 – year – old Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, is more than willing to face a common rival Iran and quietly engage with Israel to increase foreign investment in the kingdom.
‘Not an easy ride’
Bahraini Foreign Minister Abdullatif al-Jayani, who has been on the podium for tense exchanges, has called for a sharp change in the differences in his remarks.
However, he emphasized the importance of a resolution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict based on a two-state solution, as the Arab Peace Initiative did.
“The path to peace is not an easy ride. There are many obstacles along the way,” he said. But the bed of that path, the path to peace is the Israeli-Palestinian problem. ”
In a clear reference to Iran, al-Jayani added a resolution to the conflict, also removing the pretext of justifying certain threats to regional security.
Despite Prince Turkey’s blunt rhetoric, mutual concern over Iran has gradually brought Israel and the Gulf states closer, and Riyadh has also been quietly developing ties with the Jewish state for many years.
Reports last month that Netanyahu was holding secret talks in Saudi Arabia have fueled speculation that a generalization deal with the Gulf top could be reached. Riyadh, however, denied that the meeting had taken place.
‘Must See Settlement’
Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan told the AFP news agency on Saturday that the state’s position was firm.
“If we want to move forward with normalization, we have made it very clear that we need to see a solution to the Palestinian conflict and the formation of a viable state of Palestine as visioned in the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative,” he said. In an interview with us.
Asked if he had ever effectively ruled out establishing relations with Israel, he said he was “hopeful that there is a way toward a resolution between the Palestinians and the Israelis.”